Intern Story

An Intern’s Passion for Caring for Animals

  • by Jutta Endjala April 27, 2023
An Intern’s Passion for Caring for Animals

My Name is Endjala Jutta N, I joined CCF on December 6, 2022 as a cheetah husbandry intern. When I was little, I recall I liked watching films about animals in their natural settings and films about veterinarians and other medical professionals caring for wild and other creatures, when I grew up, my passion for caring for and working with animals grew greater. Because it was always what I wanted to do, finishing my metrics allowed me to study and learn about animal husbandry and wildlife in their natural habitat, which was a dream come true for me. During my internship, I assisted with animal care duties like livestock guarding dog’s feeding, and walking as well as goat checks. I studied animal health and I volunteered as an animal health technician in many veterinary clinics, where I took care of hospitalized pets and assisted the veterinarians in various ways, which made it much simpler to work with the animals. I’ve always wanted to learn more and develop my skills in saving, understand wild animals and their habitats. Which made me want to pursue a degree in wildlife management, which I am currently studying.

Our daily care of cheetahs and wild dogs includes feeding and preparing meat and exercising them which is usually the first activity of the day. I helped the ecology department with tasks like camera trapping servicing, game counts, and rhino identification keys. I also worked on the program that trains dogs to identify cheetah scat in the wild for genetics analysis and research purposes. There is a lot of hard work involved, enclosures must constantly be cleaned, and fences must be inspected and repaired but it’s all a part of the experience.

The focus of all actions is on the wildlife, but ultimately, conservation is about the communities impacted by the species. I got a chance to learn about how they educate the farmers to save animals from wild predators through the program call kill ID. True conservation work happens here. This was the best opportunity one could have to interact with wild animals, seeing cheetahs and African wild dogs up close and learning their behaviors is truly amazing, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to learn from the knowledgeable staff members who are passionate about solving the conflict and saving the cheetahs in the wild. I have reconsidered my assessment and saw things differently, getting hands-on involved makes it easier and gave me the impression that one can actually make a difference.

This stay has been amazing in every sense of the word! This is one of the few locations where one can actually see in real time how the work they are doing directly impacts wild creatures, and surrounding communities. I wholeheartedly recommend the opportunity to everyone. I have learned a lot and gained more experience just in 6 weeks, I came back as a changed person well equipped, and ready to spread the conservation message.

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